It's been half a century since Carroll Shelby revealed the first Shelby Cobra at the 1962 New York Auto Show. This time around Shelby American, a division of Carroll Shelby International, is using the event to unveil the most powerful car ever to wear the name of that legendary master of fast. Based on a 2012 Ford Shelby GT500, the 2012 Shelby 1000 will come in two distinct flavors: a street-legal version rated at 950 horsepower and a track-only Shelby 1000 S/C tuned to develop in excess of 1100 horses.
To have it develop that kind of muscle, Shelby American has performed a major rework of the GT500's already potent 550-horsepower/5.4-liter supercharged V8, adding a new crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods, optimizing flow in the cylinder heads, upgrading the cooling and exhaust systems, fitting a bigger supercharger and then adding a bit of Shelby-specific tuning to bump pony counts to the aforementioned stratospheric levels.
To help the Shelby 1000 take full advantage of that extra might, it features a major rework of the standard GT500's suspension elements, a stouter, solid driveshaft that feeds power to a new 9.0-inch rear end and larger brakes. The exterior also gains a number of subtle but functional aero enhancements, including a new front splitter and rear diffuser, a hood with air extractors and unique 20-inch alloy wheels.
Joined on the stand in New York by the original Shelby Cobra #1 (CSX2000), the new 2012 Shelby 1000 will be built in a limited series of numbered and documented units. The post-title package for a 950-horspower version will start at $149,995, not including the original GT500 donor car. For more details on the vehicle, visit www.shelbyamerican.com after April 5, 2012.